National viola And Pansy Society Newsletter

EDITORIAL - Spring 1999

Spring: did we have a winter?

In Shropshire certainly not, as I was not only taking cuttings from stock plants in the ground throughout January and February, but also had the first bloom from viola Eliot Adam. Propagation from both cuttings and seed have gone well, and I have been able to distribute a good number of exhibition varieties and look forward with anticipation to the flowering of about 300 seedlings. I have been looking for new colour breaks in both Fancy Pansies and Exhibition Violas, while with the garden varieties I have tried to enlarge the range of striped varieties. It is possible a new variety or two may be seen this year.

The start of a new growing season is always a time for optimism and I am looking forward to a year in which perhaps the profile of violas and pansies might be shared with a wider audience, and our Society may be able to reflect rather more the 'National' in its title.

To these ends I am looking forward to seeing as many members as possible at our annual show in July, and a revival of viola and pansy classes at Southport Flower Show. Both of these are dealt with in more detail in this edition.

May I wish all of you a successful season, both growing and hopefully showing? "Cleeway" is always open to anyone who is visiting Shropshire and would care to view what and how I grow and breed. I can promise you a warm welcome, good conversation and a long lunch.

Mark Roberts has sent in an article on his Chelsea experience, and while I know that this must be cry of every editor - can I please have some more material from the members. No one need feel they do not know enough, or feel intimidated. This journal is the prime means of communication for information relating to violas and pansies.

I know from what members tell me in conversation and by letter that there is a lot going on in all of those gardens. How about sharing the experience. Nothing is too large, small erudite or mundane for inclusion. Your success or failure, your local show - why did those six little heartsease beat your giants? Share your problems, share your favourite varieties, but share your experiences and help to make our small journal representative of as many growers as possible.

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